In an era rampant with sexism, we’re fortunate to have Summer tentpoles ‘GIRLS TRIP’ & ‘ROUGH NIGHT’


(L to R) Blair (Zoe Kravitz), Alice (Jillian Bell), Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Pippa (Kate McKinnon) and Frankie (Illana Grazer) in Columbia Pictures’ ROUGH NIGHT.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

I don’t think I have to remind you of our current real world political landscape, but here we are. We are living in an age of rampant sexism – an era marked with a callous disregard of empathy, equality and humanity. Our sitting president has waged an all out war on women where even being a woman is now considered to be a pre-existing condition. That’s why I couldn’t be more pleased that Hollywood is pushing back as best it can with art that blocks out the negative noise with films spotlighting talented funny women as dynamic powerhouses in a genre that’s typically reserved for “the boys.”

From the looks of the new trailers for raunchcoms GIRLS TRIP and ROUGH NIGHT, a little R&R is NOT on the menu, well, unless the two R’s stand for “raucous” and “raunchy.” There won’t be any rest or relaxation for ANY of the ladies featured in either film, but that only is a blessed gift to us. And these two films are like metaphorical middle fingers to the patriarchy!

Let’s start with the first out of the gate, ROUGH NIGHT, which debuts June 16. Co-written and directed by Lucia Aniello (BROAD CITY), the raunchcom has Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz all debasing themselves in the name of the comedic arts (to our benefits, mind you) over a night of debauchery ran amuck. We are totally here for this!

Here’s the official synopsis:

Five best friends from college (played by Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz) reunite 10 years later for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Their hard partying takes a hilariously dark turn when they accidentally kill a male stripper. Amidst the craziness of trying to cover it up, they’re ultimately brought closer together when it matters most.

Sort of like a VERY BAD THINGS meets THE HANGOVER meets WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S, this is the exact kind of wild time I’m digging.

(L-R) Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Queen Latifah in GIRLS TRIP. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

July 21 shows the release of director Malcolm D. Lee’s GIRLS TRIP. While these four best friends (played by Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish) at the center of this GNO flick don’t have something as drastic as a dead body on their hands, they are about to recharge their inner drives in similarly crazy ways (read shit-faced and possibly high).

Here’s the official synopsis:

When four lifelong friends—Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish—travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. 

What a wonderful “embarrassment of riches” we have to look forward to. Thanks to the pioneering forces of films like BRIDESMAIDS and BAD MOMS, studios are finally taking note that our dollars matter, funding female-driven features that stand for something powerful. Now, more than ever, it’s important to get out there and support films like this. I sincerely hope society’s “knee-jerk response” to films like these is to laugh with us and not to troll us – and that studios will make even more features that put women’s stories at the forefront.

ROUGH NIGHT opens June 16. GIRLS TRIP opens July 21.


About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.